Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Fresh Start

An online group of women have been discussing a couple of books: Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity.  Being frustrated with my inability to get a grasp on our new schedule (adding a third student and a preschooler to my day was been more than I can do successfully), I jumped on board.

I read Switched first.  There's a lot of good information in the book, but it isn't something that is going to be useful to me right at this moment.  I can see myself scanning back through the book as I try to implement one specific change at a time.  Those changes will have to wait; they are less crucial.

Wanting to get started on the other book, which seemed more critical, I found a nice little summary called Getting Things Done: A Time Saving Summary of David Allen's Book on Productivity.  Sixty-two concise pages felt much more doable than 288 detailed pages.  So I grabbed the Kindle edition and started in.  I haven't finished it, but I'm already excited at the potential this has on helping me, well, get things done.

So, I jumped right in at what I felt was the first step: creating a work space for myself.  I have been using an old stand along bathroom cabinet consisting of a drawer and two shelves as my "office," but that just isn't all.

So, I set right to work on an idea that's been brewing in my head for months: a total overhaul of my bedroom to make better use of a craft table that I have in there.  Here are the before and after pictures.

This is looking in from the entry door.  You can see my craft table is way to cluttered to be usable.  Not only is my craft stuff covering too much of the table's surface, bit it has become a dumping point as well.  To the left, there is a pile of boxes; those are boxes that haven't been unpacked since we moved here a year ago, projects I started but didn't finish, and Christmas gifts.  At the bottom left, you can see the three loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away.  And of course, I rarely make my bed.

This is looking in from the master bathroom. 

The next photo is taken from the closet and looks at the bathroom door.  You can see those boxes piled up and the dresser that's also a dumping point.  I also keep the gift wrapping supplies in here because I have no idea where else to put them.  And in the left corner, you can make out the pictures that haven't been put on the wall.

Now here's the after pictures taken the next day, after about four hours of work:

This is looking in from the entry door.  I moved the bed into the corner at a diagonal.  I was hoping it would free up more wall space, and it did.  The stool and lamp got put in the corner at the head of the bed.  The nightstand is still on the same side of the bed, and the dresser got moved next to the nightstand.  Scott and I swapped sides of the bed; I'm hoping that being on the window side will help me wake up once we have sun in the mornings again.  You can see that I still have my craft bins and boxes but they are nicely stacked now waiting for me to implement Getting Things Done.

Here's looking at the closet.  You can see that the dresser isn't a dumping spot anymore.  I have two wall quilts waiting to be hung when Scott can help me. They depict an Amish girl and boy and have the same colors as the quilt.  I was happy to find my favorite doll and all of her clothing and give her a home sitting on the nightstand (she was made just for me by a friend).  

And this is the most exciting part, my work space.  The table top has been cleared.  I moved that freestanding bathroom cabinet in here as well.  I took the doors off (the glass had been broken out anyway), which made the shelves more accessible.  I unpacked my craft books and old photos and put them on the bottom shelf.  The top shelf is my home files. The drawer will probably house office supplies.

Next up, bring in office supplies that I need and start making my Getting Things Done lists.

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